Abstract. We extend indexed categories, fibred categories, and Grothendieck constructions to institutions. We show that the 2-category of institutions admits Grothendieck constructions (in a general 2-categorical sense) and that any split fibred institution is equivalent to a Grothendieck institution of an indexed institution. We use Grothendieck institutions as the underlying mathematical structure for the semantics of multi-paradigm (heterogenous) algebraic specification. We recuperate the so-called ‘extra theory morphisms ’ as ordinary theory morphisms in a Grothendieck institution. We investigate the basic mathematical properties of Grothendieck institutions, such as theory colimits, liberality (free constructions), exactness (model amalgamation), and inclusion systems by ‘globalisation ’ from the ‘local ’ level of the indexed institution to the level of the Grothendieck institution. 1
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